It’s Motivation Monday! We hope you’re ready for an awesome short & healthy week!! To keep you on track, we’re kicking it off with a remarkable story and healthy transformation from Tone It Up Nutrition Plan member, Virginia.
This Tone It Up girl took a straightforward and consistent approach to healthy living and has achieved amazing results. We are so proud of her, and love how she now uses exercise as a way to bond with her husband! Prepare to be truly inspired…
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Virginia. I’m a 32 year old receptionist in the little town of Old Forge, NY located in the foothills of the Adirondacks. I live with my husband of 14 years, Mike, my teenage son, and our sweet, gray kitty Toby.
Your transformation story is amazing and has inspired us all. How long was it between your before and after pics?
My before picture was taken in July 2010 right before my wake-up call to change my life. It has taken about four years to get where I am today and it has been worth every second!
What made you decide to change and what was your biggest inspiration to finally make a change in your life?
I’ve always struggled with my weight and dealing with scoliosis made exercise difficult. I gained about 100 lb with my pregnancy. It seemed impossible at the time to lose that much weight so I gave up. My weight steadily crept up through the years to a staggering 295 lb! I was crushed emotionally and needed to make a change. I needed to let go of the mental blocks that weight loss was going to be painful with my back problems, expensive, and unsatisfying.
What goals did you set for yourself in order to make a change?
My biggest goal was to start moving, getting off the couch and walk. I started with walking around the block everyday, which evolved into 2-6 mile hikes with my husband. I think of our hikes as my “nature therapy.”
How did you find out about Tone It Up?
I discovered Tone It Up through SELF magazine. Karena & Katrina’s smiling faces and youthful glow inspired me to check out www.ToneItUp.com
How did you keep yourself motivated to keep going?
In the beginning, it was so hard to get out of bed to work out. My biggest motivator is my husband, who has been amazingly supportive. I needed to change for him and my son. They need me to be there for them, not in the ground because of my unhealthy choices. Today, my biggest boost comes from my before picture. It shows me that I am capable of ANYTHING! I have the will to transform myself and I did.
Did you have any setbacks along the way and how did you overcome them?
One of my biggest setbacks was portion control. I was eating way too much for my body frame. Going for seconds and thirds was what contributed to my weight gain, so I bought a food scale and started a food journal. Together, these tools helped me learn how much food my body really needed and held me accountable when I had slip ups.
How has following the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan contributed to your success?
The Tone It Up Nutrition Plan is amazing! It is full of information to help us have a happy, healthy lifestyle. I love how it educates us on nutrition, which is so important! It’s not a fad diet but a life change.
What are you doing now to keep up with your healthy lifestyle?
I try to fit in exercise everyday, even if it is just stretching. I make sure to have plenty of fruits and veggies in the fridge so I don’t eat chips instead.
What are some of your favorite healthy foods and snacks?
I love Greek yogurt. I like making dips with cayenne, cumin, and chili powder. I put it on almost everything! For lunch today, I had a turkey wrap with strawberries and baby carrots on the side.
How do you treat yourself while staying on track?
I like to gather up my bigger clothes every few months and donate them to the thrift store. I don’t need these reminders hanging in my closet. It gives me an excuse to pick up new, cute outfits. Plus, it always feels good to give back to the community. Since I’ve dropped from a size 26 to a size 12 in four years, shopping at thrift stores has really helped my wallet, too.
What is your workout routine like?
I follow the Tone It Up Weekly Schedule. For cardio, I like HIIT and kickboxing. I try to fit in strength training every other day and when the weather’s decent, I love going for hikes with my husband.
What is your favorite Tone It Up workout?
What advice would you give someone who needs motivation and encouragement to get healthier?
Start small and start today! Little things, like skipping a soda for lunch or taking a ten minute walk can add up and encourage you to keep going. Don’t ever say, I can’t do this or I’ll never look at myself and be satisfied with my figure. It is possible to be happy and healthy in your own skin. Join the Tone It Up community. There are so many inspiring and supportive women, who like you, started somewhere to change their lives in positive and healthy ways.
Tell us about your current goals? What are you looking forward to most in the next few months?
My goal this year is to hike a total of 200 miles with my husband. We started recording our miles together last year, an idea I got from the Love Your Body 100 miles by Valentines Day challenge. We hiked a total of 159 miles last year and I know we can surpass that this year!
What is your twitter and instagram? The team wants to connect with you!
You can find me on Twitter @ginslone07